Different generations find different uses for raw materials, changing the value of these inputs over time.
Lithium is not a new discovery, but its applications are. Scientists first discovered lithium as an element in 1817, but it was not until the 1970s that studies into lithium-ion batteries began.
It was a British chemist working for Exxon that first proposed the idea of lithium-ion battery. However, after some initial testing, Exxon abandoned the project.
Nonetheless, lithium-ion battery technology has evolved into regular use through cell phones and electric vehicles. It offers an alternative to fossil fuels that global industry can run on.
Just as the world currently watches the prices of oil to determine the trade winds, lithium could become just as important for the worldwide movement to clean energy.
Pricing the New Oil